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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Chair, Czech v.Prime Minister, to EuroFora on Eastern Partnership: Ukraine has "Special position"

EU Chair, Czech v.Prime Minister, to EuroFora on Eastern Partnership: Ukraine has "Special position"

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 05 May 2009
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    Regardless of "Antonov" Airplane cooperation prospects, Ukraine has a "Special position" and "a Prominent role to play", "in the Multilateral part of EU's Eastern Partnership", while also keeping "its own system of cooperation with the EU", said EU Chairman-in-office, Czech vice-Prime Minister for EU affairs, Alexandr Vondra, in reply to "EuroFora"'s question, without denying Kiev's aspiration to eventually become in future also a Candidate to EU accession.


    Vondra, together with EU Parliament Foreign Committee's President, Polish MEP Jacek Saryuz-wolski, had just presented to Journalists in Strasbourg, the aims of the forthcoming EU Summit for the launch of the "Eastern Partnership" with 6 Countries : Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaidjan, at nearby Prague on Friday, May 8.

- "How does this fit with Ukraine's wish to advance towards an eventual EU accession in the future ?", asked "EuroFora".

 - "I think Ukraine is in a Special position, of course", the Czech EU Chairman in office agreed.

- "It has its own System of cooperation with the EU, so I would expect that Ukraine, as the largest country from the others, will be in the Multilateral part of the Eastern Partnership", he replied.

He earlier explained that its "Menu" will be composed both by "Multilateral" and "Bilateral" aspects and various "tools" from which each country could "choose".

- "I think we can rely on the Active Engagement of Ukraine, and certainly we shall have this... So, we expect the Highest Level participation, and, certainly I would expect Ukraine to have a Prominent role to play", Vondra added.

Vondra revealed, in his reply to "EuroFora", that he "was just talking with (Ukranian vice Prime Minister) Hrihoriy Nemyrya, in entering the (Strasbourg's EU Parliament) building" "We (Czech EU Chair) are working closely with Ukraine", he underlined.

During the last EU - Ukraine Summit, with Presidents Sarkozy, Jushenko and Baroso, of France, Ukraine and EU Commission respectively, the French EU Chairman on September 2008 in Paris had anounced EU's crystal-clear acknowledgement that Ukraine was unquestionably "un European Country" and offered an "Association Agreement". I.e. similar to those that former Central-Eastern European Countries had initially concluded before becoming, later-on, EU Candidates and ultimately EU Members, as Jushenko reminded then.

Paradoxically, Turkey, a mainly Asiatic country with an obviously different culture and grave Human Rights problems, including Military occupation, threats or interventions in neighboring countries, profiting from its Cold-War Past, snatched back in 1999 a controversial EU Candidate status, while Ukraine, a peaceful European country with historic European Culture and High-Tech industry, without equally grave Human Rights problems, has yet to struggle in 2009, to get a promise for a European perspective in future...

 - "Eastern Partnership is not a substitute to EU Enlargment", and "its' not directed against anyone, and, in particular, not against Russia, who doesn't wish to take part, and has other links to the EU, Vondra added.

An important boost to EU - Ukraine links, (which may benefit also to Russia), might be given not only by the well known Energy Transport issues (by Pipelines and/or Ships, via the Black Sea and Danube), could be given also in case of a cooperation between Airbus and Ukranian "ANTONOV's aircraft production capacities :

While Vondra found the "Time too short" to reply to a 2nd "EuroFora"'s question on a possible Airbus - Ukranian ANTONOV cooperation to build an efficient European strategic Military Transport Airplane, costing less, and being more efficient and timely than an old plan for a Turkey-sponsored "A400M"' plane, whose delivery has delayed and become uncertain, on the contrary,EU's Rapporteur on the 7th Scientific and Technologocal Research framework Program, mainsteam Polish MEP Jerzy Buzek, (ChristianDemocrat/EPP), a former Prime Minister, was enthousiastically positive :

 - "It's a very good idea, and I am sure that they (Ukrania's ANTONOV) would like to do that, and are able to achieve it", replied Buzek to "EuroFora"'s question whether he found more useful for European Countries to develop a more performant but cheaper Military Transport Airplane in a cooperation fex. between Airbus and Antonov, instead of waiting, again and again, for the old Airbus A400M, with its limited capacities, to be delivered from its strange and repeated setbacks and deadlocks in mass production, which were recently denounced even by a Report drafted by the French Senate..

Russia also had reportedly shown an interest in the past to cooperate with Antonov and EU countries to jointly create a new airplane, and this possibility might, eventually, be anew explored to satisfy the present European needs in the best way possible for EU's High Technology and funds.

Meanwhile, Saryuz-wolski indicated to "EuroFora" that, as EU Parliament will confirm this week in Strasbourg also by writting in a special Resolution, Eastern Partenship's Parliamentary dimension, "EuroNEST", intends to follow the example of the Union for the Mediterranean's Assembly, by bringing together 60 MEPs not only from the neighbouring but from all those interested among EU's 27 Member States : It's well known, indeed, that several other EU Countries have close links with the Black Sea area area, via big Investments, Ship transports, etc.
Meanwhile, Vondra is reportedly due to pass later-on EU's relay baton to a renewed Czech Government, his main successor expected to be the forthcoming New Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Jan Kohout.

Kohout, who is well known in Strasbourg from his earlier visits, has already stressed to "EuroFora" Czech Republic's wish to examine carefully Foreign Policy issues, while also boosting Renewable Energy sources, Modern Technologies, Education, etc, as key-tools both for EU's independence and security, and for enhanced cooperation with developing countries accross the World, and mainly in Africa and Asia.

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(+ New Czech deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Jan Kohout, replying to another "EuroFora" question at an earlier meeting in Strasbourg : 3rd, at the right side).
 

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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election
   

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :

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     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   

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This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       

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It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

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(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..
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